Clients cannot select, or reject, care unless it is clear of the healthcare goals for their pets.
That's it; I am finally fed up and need to take a stand.
We must provide individualized written home-care instructions for our clients on each visit.
Use the templated A-care Canine (Table 1) associated with this article to create your own system to offer homecare instructions.
Table 1. a-care canine
Make specific A-care documents for horses, dogs, cats, ferrets, birds, rabbits and all the creatures that come into your offices.
We cannot expect clients to follow home care for illness unless we provide specific instructions.
We cannot expect clients to return for follow-up unless we give them a follow-up appointment before they leave. We cannot expect them to accept and comply with preventive medicine recommendations unless we provide specific strategies.
Compliance means the same today as it did 30 years ago. It's about client education in the form of written home-care instructions.
8 Steps of Preventive Medicine
Provide written home-care instructions for each patient to ease compliance problems. Clients will select those instructions that make sense to them and comply.
Clients cannot select, or reject, care unless the healthcare goals for their pets are clear.
The usual default position on home care is that they forget. Yes, most clients simply forget your instructions by the time they pull into their driveway.
Therefore, something like 85 percent of the verbal home-care instructions are in the tank before sundown.
Which means, the patient shall either get better without compliance or it gets better in spite of the forgotten instructions.
If that is the case, what was the purpose of going to the veterinarian at all? The perceived value is missing when written instructions are forgotten or not provided.
If a client fails to follow the written home-care instructions and knows it, the veterinarian can't be blamed.
For those motivated practitioners who provide written home-care instruction, the fruits are immeasurable. The notion of individualized written home-care has been a passion for decades and it frames a practice.
Here are some thoughts to make it work:
For the clinician:
Here is a list of what consumer's need:
Written home-care instructions save money by eliminating time-consuming backtracking.
Written home-care instructions improve the quality of medical care.
Written home-care instructions make money for the practice by offering better results for the current medical crisis.
Written home-care instructions with preventive care instructions provide a gentle reminder to the clinician and the client on each visit.
Dr. Riegger, dipl. ABVP, is the chief medical officer at Northwest Animal Clinic Hospital and Specialty Practice. Contact him at www.northwestanimalclinic.com, Riegger@aol.com, telephone and fax (505) 898-0407. Find him on AVMA's NOAH as the practice management moderator. Order his books "Management for Results" and "More Management for Results" by calling (505) 898-1491.